Biological Explanation of Smoking

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  • Created by: ruth7595
  • Created on: 31-03-15 19:57
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  • Biological Explanations
    • Bio Ex of initiation of smoking
      • 1.Main assumption- Addiction is an illness that forms from a body disorder.
      • 3.Some indiv may have inherited an increase susceptibility to increase dopamine levels.
      • 2.Dopamine- chemical messenger that affects brain process ,controls movement emotions and reward centre of brain. Dopamine is crucial in physical and mental health.
      • Research: Leman et al showed people with particular gene are likely to take up smoking than those without.
      • Helps explain indiv differences as individuals can inherit a predisposition for acquiring an addiction at the initiation stage.
      • Explains why people may be more resistant to treatment and prone to relapse.
      • More useful in explaining chemical addictions rather than behaviour addictions.
      • Reductionist ignores psychological cultural  and social factors that influence behaviour.
      • Emphasis on genetics rather than environment.
    • Maintenance of smoking
      • 1.The number sensitivity of dopamine receptors in the brain are affected by nicotine. Process is DESENSTIZATION
      • 2.Desenstization is where exposure to nicotine cause less response than previously caused.
      • 3.Individuals therefore need more nicotine to experience same effects. This is known as NICOTINE REGULATION MODEL.
      • Shachter (1977) says smokers continue to smoke to maintain nicotine in body at a high level to avoid negative withdrawal symptoms. He found heavy smokers smoked on average 25% more low nicotine cigarettes than high nicotine cigarette. (links to nicotine regulation model)
    • Relapse of  Smoking
      • 1.Explained by disruption of normal dopamine levels in the brain. Makes cessation difficult as body depends upon nicotine to maintain reward feelings.
      • 2.Changes to bran chemistry and number and sensitivity of neurotransmitter receptors may also explain why people experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they stop smoking which will make addict relapse.
      • Michele Pergadia et al conducted experiment to look at nicotine withdrawal symptoms and contribution to their difficulty in quitting cigarettes.  Study reported chromosome II may harbour genes associated with various aspects of smoking behaviour. suggest link between genes and relapse of smoking.
      • Cultural bias= not representative/can't be generalised.  Sample Size- small not representaitve


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